Samsung has raised the bar on 7-inch Android tablets with its Galaxy Tab 7.7. This week, I crack open the Tab 7.7 for a look at the hardware inside.
The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has a 1.4GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 4210 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 7.7" AMOLED display (1,200 x 800 resolution), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It measures measures 7.74" (H) x 5.24" (W) x 0.31" (D) and weighs 12 ounces.
Cracking Open observations
- Easy-open case: Despite looking a lot like the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, opening the Tab 7.7's case required a completely different approach. Instead of starting along the tablet's edge and working my way around the case, I started in the front, inserting a thin metal tool between the front glass and edge of the back cover. Applying gentle outward pressure, I popped the cover loose from the front panel assembly. After working my way around the case, I removed the back cover.
- Familiar Samsung internal hardware design: As with the previous Samsung tablet's that I've cracked open, the Tab 7.7 has a very clean internal hardware layout. I also like Samsung's use of snap-on connectors along the motherboard, which makes the individual components easy to detach and replace.
- Single-piece front panel/display assembly: My only complaint about the Tab 7.7's design is front panel and display assembly design. The two components are either fused into a single piece or held together with strong adhesive. If the screen was held in place with screws, you could easily replace a cracked front panel without buying a new display and vice versa.
- Replaceable battery: The Tab 7.7's 5,100 mAh battery is held in place with screws and attached to the motherboard with a snap-on connector. Once the case is removed, you can easily replace the battery.
- Packed with Samsung hardware: Not only does the Tab 7.7 have a Samsung Exynos 4210 processor, the unit's LTE baseband processor, DRAM, and flash storage module are all Samsung chips.
Given all the Tab 7.7's high-end hardware, it's not surprising that Samsung has given the unit a high-end price. As of this writing, you can buy the Tab 7.7 for $450, with a two-year Verizon contract. Without the contract, the price jumps to $700.
Samsung definitely set the standard for 7-inch tablets with the Tab 7.7. It's thin, powerful, has a beautiful display, and 4G support. But the high price and two-year commitment may scare away some buyers.
Read Eric Franklin's CNET review of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 for more information on the tablet's software features, using it as a TV remote, battery life test results.
Our Galaxy Tab 7.7 test unit had the following hardware:
- 1.4GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 4210 processor
- Samsung K3PE7E700B-XXC1 2x 4Gb LP DDR2 DRAM (1GB)
- Samsung KLMAG4FEJA-A003 16GB flash storage chip
- 7" Plane to Line Switching (PLS) display (1,024 x 600)
- 3MP rear-facing camera
- 2MP front-facing camera
- 3.7V, 5,100 mAh Li-Ion battery (SP397281A)
- Atmel MXT768E touchscreen controller
- iM144 CEM 0D14
- Samsung CMC22000 LTE baseband processor (CMC2000 PBU674.00S-1 C1134 ARM)
- Samsung K4X51323PK MDDR2 512Mb mobile DRAM
- Yamaha YMU823-P audio CODEC (YMU823-P 1144NAJB)
- Samsung K5L2866ATE NOR based MCP
- Silicon Image 9234BT HDMI chip (9234BT PCW832D 10K2143)
- VIA Telecom CBP7.1C EVDO platform (CBP1.1C 114804 TAIWAN 2MB1405061)
- FCI FC7785 19EA
- 6323R 1193AF PH 1141
- Avago ACFM-7109 PCS/Cellular Band FBAR Quadplexer (ACFM-7109 FI135295075)
- CSR SiRFstarIV GSD4t GSP IC (SiRF GSD4T 9600B C K138AH14)
- 8903CE TI203 ITHK +
- Fairchild FDMC510P P-Channel PowerTrench MOSFET (PC2HK FDMC 510P)
- Invensense MPU-3050M 3-axis gyroscope (MPU-3050M D1Y797-J1 EI 1153 K)
- Maxim MAX8997 power-management IC for Samsung's Exynos 4210 (MAX8997 EWW 1203 5VAZ)
- Maxim MAX8996 Dual PWM Step-Down Converter (MAX8996 EWZ 5FYBY 132)
- FCI FC7851 17BY
- Avago A5013 K1141 DK089
- A50H 11B22B1A10
- CSR 8811 Bluetooth IC (8811 A06U K14BAM23)
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.